The Choir

For many years now, a small choir has sung every Sunday at St Paul’s.  Whenever possible, we sing in the traditional four-part format - Soprano, Contralto, Tenor, Bass.  We mainly sing traditional hymns but have recently included some more modern worship songs from Mission Praise.  We are accompanied on the organ and on occasion by other professional musicians who are members of the congregation.   We usually meet at 8.40am on Sundays (prior to the Service starting at 9.30am) to run through the hymns and anthems for that day.  New members are always welcome and we are particularly keen to find more tenors and basses.   There is also a community choir, the Estoril Singers, which stems from St Paul’s choir but has many additional members, several of whom are professional musicians whilst the majority remain enthusiastic amateurs. It is conducted by the Very Rev. Dr Ivan Moody, the eminent composer and choral conductor, who is also the priest of the Orthodox Parish of St John the Russian, which holds its weekly services at St Paul’s Church. The choir rehearses on Monday evenings at St Paul’s, sometimes giving concerts there and occasionally elsewhere. On special occasions at St George’s, when a larger choir is called for, the church choir is augmented by the Estoril Singers.  Remembrance Sunday and the Festival of Lessons and Carols are two examples of this.  The facilities of the two buildings at St George’s and at St Paul’s, very different though they are, have been much appreciated by visiting or touring groups of instrumentalists and choirs as being suitable places at which to offer their concerts. Over the years, there have been some wonderful performances given by musicians from many different countries. The most recent highlight, in February 2020, was the visit of the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral Choir which sang in both churches.  We look forward to many more such occasions in the future.

Organist at St George's: David Cranmer

David Cranmer came to Portugal in 1981 and became organist at St. George’s Church the following year. Besides his regular Sunday playing, he has also given organ recitals throughout Portugal, as well as in France, England and Brazil. Additionally, he has played with various choirs, such as that of the German Evangelical Church, the University of Lisbon, the Lisbon Chamber Choir and the Gulbenkian Foundation Choir. Since 2011 he has participated regularly (as pianist and harpsichordist) in the concerts of the “Academia dos Renascidos”, a group of singers and instrumentalists specialising in reviving less well known Portuguese and Brazilian repertoires. David particularly enjoys doing concerts with other musicians and creative artists of other arts. He is a teacher and researcher at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, where he teaches in the Musicology Department. He has devoted himself particularly to various aspect of opera and theatre music in Portugal and Brazil in the 18th and 19th centuries. David has three children – Michael, Marta and Simão – all of whom sing and play.
Music
Music is an important element in our worship. There is a choir at St Paul’s; professional musicians play the organ at both churches: at St Paul’s an electronic organ (2 manuals and full pedal board), at St George’s a 19th-century pipe organ (2 manuals and full pedal board). There are several professional musicians in the congregations.
Organist at St Paul's: Esther Georgie Esther Georgie began playing the piano at a very early age in Michigan USA and, soon afterwards, the clarinet, often giving recitals with her mother. Having moved to England, she studied the clarinet with Dame Thea King, specialising in both clarinet and piano at the Royal College of Music where she received the Frederick Thurston Memorial Prize and graduated with First Class Honours. During this time, other awards included 1st prizes in the Young Artist's Platform London and the International Young Concert Artist's Competition and, at Sir David Willcocks' invitation, she participated in concerts in the presence of members of the Royal Family. She also played principal clarinet on several occasions with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra during their 150th Anniversary season. Esther played principal clarinet with the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon for over 32 years, working with some of the greatest musicians of our times, collaborating in a variety of chamber music concerts and performing many solo concertos from early classical to contemporary works, some of which were dedicated to her.        Esther continues here in Portugal with her work in recitals, chamber music and occasional masterclasses.